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Japan’s stock market posts best shares in four decades in year’s last trading day

On the last trading day of the year, Japanese shares posted their best annual performance for more than four decades, leaving other major markets in the dust. Foreign investors piled into the long-laggard market in 2013 as the government and central bank unveiled measures aimed at stoking the world’s third-largest…

Thousands protest as Okinawa approves long-stalled relocation of ‘dangerous’ U.S. airbase

Japanese officials in Okinawa on Friday approved the long-stalled relocation of a controversial U.S. military base, a breakthrough that could remove a running sore in relations between Tokyo and Washington. More than 17 years after the two allies agreed to move the U.S. Marines’ Futenma Air Station from a densely…

U.S. Navy helicopter crashes near Tokyo, injuring two sailors

A US navy helicopter crashed near Tokyo Monday in a failed emergency landing, injuring two of the four men on board, rescuers said. Television footage showed the grey helicopter on its side on what appeared to be vacant land, with mangled propellors and a snapped tail-end. The accident came at…

Japan setting aside $970 million to store tons of soil contaminated by radiation

Japan is planning to earmark $970 million for a storage facility for tens of thousands of tons of soil contaminated with radiation from the Fukushima disaster, a report said Wednesday. The government will set aside the cash to buy some 1.2 to 2 square miles of land somewhere near the…

U.S. Navy deploys new surveillance aircraft to Japan

The US Navy has deployed sophisticated surveillance aircraft to Japan, officials said Monday, amid rising tension over China’s territorial claims in the region. Two P-8A Poseidon patrol jets departed Jacksonville, Florida on Friday and arrived later at Kadena air base in Okinawa, in a move that was planned before Beijing…

Dramatic volcano eruption gives birth to new Japanese islet

A dramatic volcanic eruption in the Pacific Ocean has created a tiny new islet in Japan’s territorial waters, officials said Thursday, the first time in decades the nation has seen the phenomenon. The navy spotted smoke about 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) south of Tokyo on Wednesday and Japan’s coastguard later…

China praises Korean assassin whom Japan calls a ‘criminal’

China and South Korea are to cooperate on a memorial to a Korean national hero who assassinated a Japanese official a century ago, provoking a diplomatic row Tuesday. Relationships between all three neighbours are heavily coloured by history, while both Beijing and Seoul are embroiled in separate territorial rows with…

China’s meager typhoon aid to Philippines is a diplomatic misstep: experts

China’s clumsy response to the typhoon in the neighbouring Philippines shows that the Asian giant is still struggling to find its role on the world stage, analysts say, burdened by history and its own self-image. Initially the Chinese government offered only $100,000, and while later donations have swelled Beijing’s aid…

Japan to probe megabanks after mobster loan scandal

Japan’s financial watchdog said Tuesday it would probe the country’s top three banks in the wake of a loans-to-mobsters scandal that has scarred the reputation of major lender Mizuho. The Financial Services Agency (FSA) will look at Mizuho’s business dealings as well as rivals Mitsubishi UFJ and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking…

7.3 magnitude quake strikes off Japan’s east coast: USGS

A 7.3 magnitude quake struck off Japan’s east coast Saturday but no destructive widespread tsunami was expected, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said. The quake struck at a depth of 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) at 3:10am local time (1710 GMT Friday), 320 kilometres southeast of Ishinomaki in Miyagi Prefecture, according…

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